Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peter Hook to perform New Order, Joy Division material in SoCal

I've been looking forward to these shows since the initial announcement last spring. I happened to catch their September 2011 show at the El Rey Theater in LA after my interview with Hook (find it elsewhere on this blog) and was mesmerized. 
Starting this weekend, Peter Hook & The Light return to Southern California to perform complete albums from the New Order and Joy Division catalogs in concert (sets and shows are below).

This month marks the
first time the band is performing New Order’s third and fourth albums, Low-Life and Brotherhood in the United States.

The latest jaunt is the The Light’s fourth of North America following two very well received Joy Division album tours of Unknown Pleasures and Closer and their tour of New Order’s Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies last year.

SoCal concerts will include the singles and B-sides from New Order’s most prolific period. From August 1983 up to 1987, taking the audience from “Confusion” to “True Faith,” with both Low Life and Brotherhood performed in full alongside all the other tracks from that fans consider New Order’s greatest period including “Thieves Like Us,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “The Perfect Kiss” and more.

The Light will also be supporting themselves at the concerts performing a selection of Joy Division material prior to the album performances.

By the time “Blue Monday” and “Temptation” were released during this Eighties period, New Order had grown in confidence and attained increasing success in the UK and internationally. Praised for their creativity, boundary pushing and consistent touring, the albums saw the group finding their niche and signature sound, fusing their rock, indie style with new emerging electronic equipment and bringing melody and emotion to their techno experiments. Both the singles and the albums for this period stand out as some of the finest work ever produced by the band.

Marking the high period of New Order artistically, the critical plaudits heaped upon Power, Corruption & Lies was followed by similar notices for Low-Life and Brotherhood, considered as a trio, the band’s greatest albums which were achieved through a period of intense hard work which brought significant results and advancements.

Having raised their profile with “Blue Monday,” still the biggest ever selling 12” in history, the band continued to define their status with their diffident attitude to promotion, Peter Saville’s iconic design and their disregard of mid Eighties video culture and the MTV generation.

With FAC 51 The Hacienda Club open in Manchester, the band decamped to New York in 1983 to work with Arthur Baker, who co-wrote and produced the first two singles from the period “Confusion" and "Thieves Like Us."

Arthur famously dance floor tested "Confusion" prior to release in ‘The Fun House’, one of New York's most famous underground clubs where the video was later filmed. The subsequent single became many fans’ favorite record, the effortless, timeless shimmering beauty of “Thieves Like Us”.

Releasing Low Life in 1985 alongside epic single “The Perfect Kiss”, whose 9 minute 12 inch mix, full of peaks and troughs is considered one of the best of the decade, the romantic club sounds of Low Life and its playful sense of humour has made many regard it as New Order’s most complete single album.

Aside from the singles, the album contains many great records that have entered the canon, including “This Time Of Night,” “Sunrise,” “Elegia," “Sooner Than You Think,” and the album’s closer “Face Up,” an energetic club track.

With the band now signed to Quincy Jones’ Qwest label in the States, they began to tour internationally to ever increasing capacities. Their transatlantic success underlined by the appearance of songs “Elegia,” “Thieves Like Us” and “Shellshock” on John Hughes “Pretty In Pink” film soundtrack in 1986, as well as the uniquely stylised videos which accompanied the singles.

Coupling the release of “State Of The Nation” to Brotherhood in September 1986, the first single was superseded by the band’s biggest international hit since 1983, the musical landmark “Bizarre Love Triangle” which broke the band fully through to North American, international and even Australian audiences.

Brotherhood itself took a unique approach, splitting the rock side of the band to the first side of the album, with tracks “Paradise”, “As It Is When It Was” and “Way Of Life,” whereas the flips side was electronic, taking in the two singles and also “Every Second Counts,” a finely tuned electronic ballad regarded as the counterpoint to “Leave Me Alone.”

Hook & The Light’s current concerts run up to 1987, when New Order enjoyed their biggest international hit “True Faith.” Some seven years after the demise of Joy Division and a decade on from first forming, the band had come full circle to hit heights never thought possible.

Southern California tour dates:

11/22 Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (
Low Life and Brotherhood)
11/24 The Glass House, Pomona, CA (Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies)
11/25 The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA (Unknown Pleasures and Closer – with special guests) - Sold out
11/26 House Of Blues, San Diego, CA
(Low Life and Brotherhood

Purchase tickets:

More information: 

Old 97's 1994 debut CD gets revisited

Another fine reissue from Omnivore Recordings is available now...
The Old 97's arrived on the alt-country scene in 1994 with their independently released debut, Hitchhike To Rhome. With subsequent albums on Bloodshot, Elektra, New West, and ATO Records, the quartet became one of the Americana genre’s most enduring bands.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, Omnivore has reissued Hitchhike with an expanded release on 2-CD, digital, and — for the first time — on double LP.
When band member and set co-producer Ken Bethea was revisiting the original tapes for this reissue, he discovered a treasure trove of eight extra tracks cut at the album sessions — many of which the band hadn’t even remembered recording. It seemed the perfect time to bring those previously unissued songs to light and add the tracks from their first four-song demo cassette to round out the early picture of the 97’s.
The 2-CD version of Hitchhike To Rhome contains the original album, coupled with a second disc of those 12 rare and unreleased tracks, many mixed from the original multi-tracks for the first time by longtime Old 97’s engineer Rip Rowan. The double LP (limited edition first pressing on translucent orange vinyl) features the LP on three sides with six of the recently unearthed tracks on Side 4. The download card included gives the buyer the complete 2-CD program.
Both formats include rare photos, memorabilia and notes from Bethea. The entire album has been remixed from original session tapes by Rip Rowan. 

From the Too Far To Care reissue complete with demos (also available separately on vinyl as They Made A Monster), to the band’s sessions with the great Waylon Jennings, Omnivore continues to add to the Old 97’s legacy with this integral, early part of their history and catalog.
CD Track list:

Disc One
St. Ignatius
Drowning In The Days
Miss Molly
Dancing With Tears
4 Leaf Clover
Wish The Worst
Old 97’s Theme
Hands Off
Mama Tried
If My Heart Was A Car
Desperate Times
Ken’s Polka Thing
Tupelo County Jail
Disc Two
St. Ignatius (demo cassette version)
Drowning In The Days (demo cassette version)
Making Love With You (demo cassette version)

Stoned (demo cassette version)
Dancing With Tears (demo)*
Ivy (demo)*

Eyes For You*

Crying Drunk*


Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*
Alright By Me*

Desperate Times*

LP Track list:

Side One
St. Ignatius
Drowning In The Days
Miss Molly
Dancing With Tears
Side Two
4 Leaf Clover
Wish The Worst
Old 97’s Theme
Tupelo County Jail
Hands Off
Side Three
Mama Tried

If My Heart Was A Car
Desperate Times
Ken’s Polka Thing
Tupelo County Jail
Side Four
Crying Drunk*

Dancing With Tears (demo)
Ivy (demo)*


Eyes For You*
Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*
* Previously unissued
View the trailer:

Reissues of first two Jellyfish CDs due in January

Exciting news this morning about a much missed 1990s band. Can't wait to hear these. Read on for details...

Indie pop-rockers Jellyfish only released two albums in their short existence.
Following Omnivore Recordings' vinyl reissues of those titles in 2012, three never-before-available albums — Live at Bogart’s, Stack-a-Tracks, and Radio Jellyfish —helped keep the legacy alive.
The story now comes full circle with the expanded deluxe CD editions of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, available from Omnivore on Jan. 20 in North America. Both titles have been expanded to two discs and include the original albums in their entirety fortified with 51 bonus tracks spread among the packages.
With tracks from the demos to the albums to the tours, these releases are the ultimate Jellyfish experience.
Jellyfish’s 1994 debut, Bellybutton, has been remastered for the first time for the deluxe reissue. The full-length is joined on the first CD of the set by ten live performances recorded during that album’s tour. These tracks include Jellyfish originals, as well as covers of songs from Paul McCartney & Wings and The Archies.
The second disc of the set is composed of demos — nine that would end up on Bellybutton and one eventually recorded for Spilt Milk, as well as others of which studio versions were never cut, and a cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” This disc will also be available digitally worldwide as The Bellybutton Demos on the same date.
Follow-up Spilt Milk is also treated to a remastering, with the first disc adding eight demos of songs considered for, but not recorded for the release. The second disc contains demos for the album tracks, four live performances from the tour, the last studio recording from the band (a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Think About Your Troubles”), and a special message from Jellyfish recorded in the studio during the album’s creation and originally sent to fan club members.
Both releases feature expanded artwork with photos and memorabilia. Essays from Ken Sharp incorporate new interviews with Andy Sturmer, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner from Jellyfish, as well as the albums’ producers. Sturmer and Manning also provide track-by-track commentary on the original album tracks.
According to the band’s Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., “It's so great to have both albums remastered and available again. We know that the fans have been looking for the tracks that only appeared on a long out-of-print boxed set, so many of those outtakes, demos and live tracks have been added to make these expanded deluxe two-CD sets as comprehensive as possible.”

Watch the Jellyfish trailer here:

The Church returns to America for 35th Anniversary, new album

The Church will return to North America early next year to tour in support of their 25th studio album Further/Deeper, due out Feb. 3. 

Concert dates begin in February and run straight into Austin for SXSW. The Church will also be performing at SXSW along with sitting for an interview at the convention. Tickets for all shows go on sale this week. See below for full itinerary.

Log on to: for more information.

Tour Dates

2/21/2015 Vancouver, BC Rio Theater
2/23/2015 Seattle, WA Triple Door
2/24/2015 Seattle, WA Triple Door
2/27/2015 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
2/28/2015 San Diego, CA The Casbah
3/2/2015 Aspen, CO Belly Up Tavern
3/3/2015 Denver, CO Gothic Theater
3/5/2015 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
3/6/2015 Chicago, IL Double Door
3/7/2015 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
3/9/2015 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
3/10/2015 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
3/12/2015 Boston, MA The Sinclair
3/13/2015 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
3/14/2015 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade
3/15/2015 Raleigh, NC Cat's Cradle
3/17/2015 Atlanta, GA Terminal West
3/18-21/2015 Austin, TX SXSW

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The latest news on One Direction, Bryan Ferry, Damien Rice

One Direction continues to “take over” NBCUniversal this week in conjunction with the new album Four.

The group just did live performances on the Today show and Un Nuevo Dia that originated from Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk and the Universal Studios Florida Music Plaza stage.

Exclusive interviews and news about ID's new album will also be featured on “Access Hollywood” and “E! News.” For the first time, a “1D” holiday special is set to air Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. 

Bryan Ferry's new studio album, Avonmore, is available now.

After his 2012 sonic detour The Jazz Age with orchestra and a significant contribution to Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby, Ferry returns to the present day with a eight new compositions and two covers.

Special guests Johnny Marr, Nile Rodgers and Marcus Miller are featured throughout the album, together with Flea, Ronnie Spector, Mark Knopfler and Maceo Parker. It was produced by  Ferry and Rhett Davies. 

The first single is “Loop De Li.” Among the two covers are Sondheim’s “Send In The Clowns” and Robert Palmer's “Johnny and Mary” - a collaboration with the Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje.

Damien Rice is set to embark on a nationwide tour this spring—his largest U.S. run in nearly a decade. A limited number of advance tickets will be available to mailing list subscribers via
A 48-hour pre-sale window will begin on begin Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. local time and general on-sale will begin Friday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. local time. See below for details.

My Favourite Faded Fantasy, the new album from Rice,
was produced by Rick Rubin and the artist and is now available. It debuted at #1 in Ireland, #2 in Holland, #3 in Belgium, #7 in the U.K. Rice also performed the album’s single “I Don’t Want to Change You” on “The Late Show with David Letterman”:

Watch a clip of Rice explaining his creative process here: See the video for “I Don’t Want to Change You” here: The video was directed by Icelandic filmmaking duo Arni & Kinski and shot in Iceland.
Tour Dates
March 31 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
April 1 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
April 3 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
April 4 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
April 7 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
April 8 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music
April 11 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
April 13 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
April 14 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre
April 15 Minneapolis, MN Northrop Auditorium
April 17 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
April 20 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium
April 21 Seattle, WA Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
April 23 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
April 24 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cracker's long awaited album, tour dates

Cracker’s Berkeley To Bakersfield will be released Dec. 9 via 429 Records. The band's tenth studio effort is a double-album that traverses two different sides of the California landscape – the northern Bay area and further down-state in Bakersfield.

Despite being less than a five-hour drive from city to city, musically, these two regions couldn’t be further apart from one another. In the late ‘70s and ‘80s, a harder-edged style of rock music emerged from the Bay area, while Bakersfield is renowned for its own iconic twangy country music popularized, most famously, by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Yet despite these differences, they are both elements that Cracker’s two co-founders, David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, have embraced to some degree on nearly every one of their studio albums over the last two decades. On Berkeley To Bakersfield, however, instead of integrating these two genres together within one disc, they’ve neatly compartmentalized them onto their own respective regionally-titled LPs.

As Lowery explains, “On the Berkeley disc the band is the original Cracker lineup - Davey Faragher, Michael Urbano, Johnny and myself. This is the first time this lineup has recorded together in almost 20 years. We began recording this album at East Bay Recorders in Berkeley, CA. For this reason we chose to stylistically focus this disc on the music we most associate with the East Bay: Punk and Garage with some funky undertones. To further match our sense of place we often took an overtly political tone in the lyrics."

“This Bakersfield disc represents the ‘California country’ side of the band. Throughout the band’s 24-year history we’ve dabbled in Country and Americana but this time we wanted to pay homage to the particular strain of country and country-rock music that emerges from the inland valleys of California.”

Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. Lowery and Hickman have amassed ten studio albums, multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, hit songs that are still in current radio rotation around the globe ("Low," "Euro-Trash Girl,” "Get Off This" and “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me”) and a worldwide fan base - that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry - continues to grow each year. 

Tour Dates:

Nov. 28 Skipper's Smokehouse - Tampa FL
Nov. 29 The Earl - Atlanta GA
Nov. 30 The Earl - Atlanta GA (Sunday Matinee)
Dec. 2 Magic Bag - Ferndale MI
Dec. 3 Majestic Theater - Madison, WI
Dec. 4 Varsity Theater - Minneapolis, MN
Dec. 5 Old Town School Of Folk - Chicago IL
Dec. 6 Duck Room - St Louis MO
Dec. 27 The Independent - San Francisco CA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Dec. 28 The Independent - San Francisco CA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Dec. 29 Lobero Theatre - Santa Barbara CA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Dec. 30 Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach CA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Dec. 31 New Years Eve Party @ Soiled Dove - Denver CO (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Jan. 2 Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
Jan. 3 City Winery - Nashville, TN
Jan. 14 9:30 Club - Washington DC (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Jan. 15 Lee's Palace - Toronto, ONT (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Jan. 16 Middle East Downstairs - Cambridge, MA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Jan. 17 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia PA (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)
Jan. 18 B.B. King Blues Club - NYC (w/ Camper Van Beethoven)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Family Music Affair for Thompson Family

Teddy Thompson, together with parents Richard and Linda, brother Jack, younger sister Kami, her husband James Walbourne, and nephew Zak Hobbs - collectively dubbed "Thompson" will release a collaborative album of all new original songs called Family (Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group) on Nov. 18.

The album’s 2-Disc (1CD-DVD) Deluxe Edition features a 15-minute film "Thompson: The Making of Family" on DVD. Utilizing interviews, studio footage and vintage family photos, the film captures the warmth, intelligence and humor of this supremely talented family as they record together for the very first time.

Always intrigued by the idea of what a 'Thompson family' album would sound like, Teddy finally struck upon the idea of each member contributing two songs to the project which he would oversee and produce.

"My therapist had a field day with it," says Teddy. "He said, 'wait a minute, you’re trying to get your family back together!' And that’s exactly right. I’m six years old again, and I’m trying to put my family back together. It was very therapeutic, making the record."

Finally, in 2012, Teddy sent emails to his parents and siblings, trusting that positive reaction and quality music would come back. Both did. The bulk of the album was completed in 2013, with Teddy coordinating with his relatives about their individual contributions. Everybody wrote and recorded their songs where they live and sent them in.

Once the songs were done, family members met up for four days of studio time in London and New York City, where the tracks were recorded with Teddy at the helm. The recordings feature abundant musical cross-pollination from all the performers as well as shared backing vocals.

The album features a wide musical range—from Kami's more poppy contributions like her bright melodic rocker, "Careful," to the familiar folky elegance of Richard's, "That’s Enough," and from Linda's heartfelt ballad, "Bonny Boys," to Teddy’s classic country rocker, "Right." The songs do share an aesthetic and emotional texture instantly familiar as having sprung from this particular family source. And the family members would agree.

"I suppose there’s kind of a folk-rock sensibility to what the Thompsons do, generally speaking," says Richard. "I think everyone’s a bit in in the singer- songwriter style."

Teddy knew the songs would be good—this is the Thompson family, after all—and yet, he says he was surprised by just how good all of the songs were. Well, maybe he wasn’t that surprised.

"I don’t mean to sound cocky or anything," he adds, "but I just felt like everybody’s really good, and everybody was going to write good songs, and do good work, and they did."

Track Listing:

1. Family feat. Teddy Thompson
2. One Life At A Time feat. Richard Thompson
3. Careful feat. Kami Thompson
4. Bonny Boys feat. Linda Thompson
5. Root So Bitter feat. Zak Hobbs
6. At The Feet Of The Emperor feat. Jack Thompson
7. Right feat. Teddy Thompson
8. Perhaps We Can Sleep feat. Linda Thompson
9. That’s Enough feat. Richard Thompson
10. I Long For Lonely feat. Kami Thompson and James Walbourne